Ethnic Differences in Survival for Female Cancers of the Breast, Cervix and Colorectum in British Columbia , Canada


Background: Chinese and South Asians are among the fastest growing minority populations in Canada;however little is known about the burden of cancer in these populations.
Objective:The objective is to examinesurvival rates for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers in women within these two ethnic populations, ascompared to the BC general population.
Methods: Survival rates were calculated for three time periods in theChinese, South Asian and BC general populations, using the BC cancer registry. Ethnicity within the registrywas determined using surnames.
Results: Survival rates for female breast, cervical and colorectal cancers haveimproved over time in all three population groups, however general differences were found among the groups.Chinese women had higher survival rates than both South Asians and all BC women for breast and cervicalcancer, and intermediate survival rates between South Asians and all BC women for colorectal cancer. SouthAsian women had the highest survival rates for colorectal cancer, similar survival rates to all BC women forbreast cancer, and lower survival rates for cervical cancer. Interpretation: Differences in the observed survivalrates may be explained by variations in screening and early detection, treatment practices, and cancer biology.This is discussed more fully for each cancer site.